Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Skaters in Dutch landschape

Made by Brittany, 11 years old

You need:

  1. light blue construction paper
  2. dark transperant glossy paper
  3. glue
  4. flour
  5. colour pencils
  6. scissors
Beautiful photographs of Dutch landscapes and skaters on frozen water, are the inspiration for this lesson. There are many of these pictures on the internet (search for 'hollands landschap schaatsen'). Show some of these pictures and discuss them.
Take a light blue sheet (or paint one) and paste and paste in the middle transparent dark, glossy paper on it; this is the ice. Cut a circle from a white sheet and paste in on the light blue sheet. Make the white streaks on the ice by drawing lines with a glue stick and sprinkling flour over it; shake the rest of. Draw a windmill or a landscape. Draw some skating people on another sheet and colour them with bright colours. Cut those skaters and paste them on the ice.

Made by students from 10-11 years old

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter scene

Made by Veerle, 10 years old

You need:

  1. black paper A4 size
  2. chalk pastels
  3. hairspray
  4. scissors
  5. glitter
  6. glue
Students draw a winter forest with snowy pine trees on a black background. The trees on the foreground must be lighter than those on the background.

When ready, put a flower pot on the drawing and draw a circle. Cut this circle. Fix your artwork with hairspray and let it dry for a few seconds. Then lay the circle face down on the table. Colour along the outer edge of the back of the circle a circle of about one centimeter. Put the circle in the middle of a new sheet of black paper. Smudge the chalk with your fingers on the new sheet, taking care the work won't move. Finally turn the circle and paste it in the black circle of your latest sheet. Sprinkle a little glitter in small dots of glue.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Splattering fireworks

You need:
  1. black construction paper
  2. toothbrush
  3. tempera paint
  4. spoon
  5. straw
  6. photo of a building or skyline
  7. scissors
Choose an internet photograph of a famous building or skyline. Print it and cut it out carefully. Put the picture or a black sheet of paper. Dilute white tempera paint with water so it is fluid. Dip the toothbrush in the paint and knock the adhering drops off. Take a teaspoon in your writing hand and the toothbrush in the other. Scrape with the spoon on the hairs of the toothbrush in your own direction. This way the hairs of the toothbrush will spring back, while they release splashes of paint. Practice this first on a scrap sheet. Now splash around your image. Near the image you splash closer, further away you splash thinner.

When you are finished, gently take the image away. You'll see the silhouette of the building.Let your work dry before you do the second step.
Dilute some tempera paint on a saucer with water so it is thinner. Leave one or two drops of diluted tempera on your artwork, but not on the silhouette. drupjes verf op je werkstuk vallen, maar niet op het silhouet (put your image back to the sheet if necessary). Blow through the straw at the paint drops in different directions, so you'll get fireworks. Do this as often as you like. Be careful, there should not be coloured paint on your silhouette. Paste your work finally on a coloured background.

This lesson is origanally from Art Attack.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fireworks over the city

Made by Oscar, 11 years old

You need:
  1. white drawing paper A3 size
  2. oil pastels
  3. liquid water colour
  4. brushes
  5. coloured paper for background
Children draw a New Years eve in three sections: foreground, middleground and background. At the bottom of the sheet they draw a lot of backs of human heads; these are the people looking to the fireworks. In the middle they draw a street with houses. People are standing in front of those houses, so think about overlapping! The third section is above the houses: beautiful fireworks. Colour everything with oil pastels. Use bright colours for the fireworks, including white. Don't draw too many details, that isn't easy to colour because of the oilpastels.

Whey ready, paint the whole drawing with dark liquid watercolour, because new years fireworks are at night! The oil pastels will resist the watercolour.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas window

You need:

  1. pattern (click on the picture of it)
  2. carbon paper
  3. cutter and cutting mat
  4. green cardboard
  5. tissue paper

Pattern (click and enlarge)

Print the pattern and enlarge if you wish till A4 size. Copy the pattern with carbon paper on the cardboard and cut out the grey parts carefully. Be sure the letters will be stuck to the window. Paste tissue paper on the back.
You might prefer to let children draw their own letters. If you let them, give them the exact sizes of the window and tell them to be sure the letters have to be stuck to the window on at least every edge. This can be done with pencil and paper, but also on computer (Wordart).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snowman close ups

Made by Charmaine, 11 years old
You need:

  1. grey drawing paper cut in pieces from 15 by 15 cm

  2. oil pastels

  3. glue

  4. scissors

  5. coloured cardboard

Children get three pieces of grey drawing paper. They have to draw the same snowmen face or part of the face from different points of view: frontal, of the side, from above, from the bottom, upside down etc. The snowmen must be coloured with oil pastels. Of course the colours of all drawings have to be the same. Outline everything with black oil pastel.

Glue the three snowmen close ups on a matching coloured cardboard.

Snowman close ups, by children of 11-12 years old

Monday, December 21, 2009

kristina klarin : artists who blog

Kris' blog:
Kris' shops:,

Why did you decide to start a blog?

It was 3 years ago and at that time I was working pretty hard in the fashion industry. I really needed a kind of vent when I discovered the blogosphere. I was so fascinated with all the support, friendship and generosity I saw in the blogs and I just wanted to be a part of that.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

The favorite part of my job as fashion designer was choosing the colors for collections. I always loved to cut the stripes from hundreds of fabric samples, and making combinations for the outfits, so somehow kris’s color stripes sounded good to me.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

Oh, in an incredible way. Having always immediate feedback made me produce more and more quickly, it also made me feel more positive about what I was doing, particularly because working from home can be hard since you are your own critic all the time.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

There are so many…
…Helen Dardik - Orange you lucky- I love her illustrations, colors and joy she transmit through her work.

Elisabeth Dunker - fine little day- I love her versatility and how she moves from one project to another while staying always true to herself.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

Do it! Don't be afraid to show your art, ideas, and passions.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

Connecting with people, immediate feedback, incredible support.

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?

I spent whole my life visiting only creative schools and doing creative jobs, so honestly I can not imagine doing something else. I would never change my work for any other career…one of the aspects I like most is flexible office hours- I like to start my day at 6 am and finish everithing by 4 pm.

Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?

Actually I’m probably the worst promoter of my work, so I must say I did literally nothing.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

I don’t…When I’m absorbed by my ideas I just can’t focus on enything else. I do have dinner with my boyfriend and I do laundry but I spend the most of my time in my studio-room obsessed with my ideas or projects I’m working on for my clients.

What would you like to accomplish in 2010?

I would love to get better in promoting my work…It’s something I’m really not good at.

Thanks so much Kris! Be sure to check out Kris' 2010 calendar here. It is beautiful!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa with Christmas wish

You need:

  1. pattern
  2. cardboard in dark red, red, pink, black and white
  3. carbon paper
  4. wobbly eyes
  5. cottonpads
  6. 2 split pins
  7. piece of raffia
  8. black marker

Pattern: click to download

Print the pattern. Draw the body and arms using carbon paper de on the red cardboard. Cut these bodyparts. Copy the hat on dark red cardboard and cut it out. Do the same with hands and face on pink cardboard. Cut the boots out of black cardboard. Cut the white parts. Paste the hands under the sleeves. Paste the sleeve edges on top. Paste the face and the hat on the body and paste the edge of the hat. Outline the edge of the hat with black marker. Paste the boots on the body, and the white belt too. Prick holes in the triangles and fix the arms with split pins on the body. Paste wobbly eyes on the face. Cut a beard and moustache from a cottonpad and paste these in the face.
Cut a rectangle from black construction paper and write a Christmas wish on it. Paste two pieces of raffia on this board and paste the raffia on the hands.

Tealight holder with glass paint

Made by students from 11 years old

You need:

  1. used jar or small drinking glass
  2. glass paint
  3. outline paste in gold
  4. brushes
  5. turpentine
Wash your jar in hot, soapy water and remove any labels. Dry the jar completely. Cover your work surface with newspapers and have whatever cleaning solution you'll need for your brushes already set up. If you're going to do an outline, test the outline paste before you start, to learn how much pressure you need to apply to get it to come out evenly from the tube. If you make a mistake with either the outline paste or the paints, it's easy to correct by wiping it off with a paper towel before it dries.

Paint your outline first. If you're working from an existing pattern, you can tape the paper pattern on the inside of the jar and follow it from the outside. Or, you can work freehand. Let the outline dry according to directions, then paint with transparent glass paints. Hold the jar up to the light periodically to see how it looks. It'll look different with the light coming through it.

Allow your design to dry thoroughly (this usually takes about two days). To turn your glass jar into a lantern, put a layer of sand on the bottom and add a tea light.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fireworks rockets

Fireworks, by children from 11-12 years old

You need:

  1. tubes from Pringles
  2. long wooden stick
  3. construction paper in different colours
  4. scissors
  5. glue
  6. wide tape
  7. wire
Paste black paper around the tube. Decorate the rocket with stars, dots etc. cut out of coloured paper.
Make a cap from a circle and paste it on the rocket. Fix the stick in the tube with wide tape. Take small tape to fix a piece of wire in the tube; this is the sliver.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Polish folkart Christmas tree

You need:

  1. white, red and green sheet A4 size
  2. scissors
  3. glue

Put the red and white sheet together and fold them. Draw half a Christmas tree against the fold and cut it out. Take the white tree and fold it again. Cut some of the edges and cut patterns from the fold towards the edges (just like snowflakes). Glue the white tree on the red one and glue the complete tree on a green sheet.

anna wilson patterson : artists who blog

Anna's blog:
Anna's websites:,

Why did you decide to start a blog?

Initially I started a blog as an online scrapbook of my life. I have always collected interesting bits and bobs; tickets, labels, doodles, magazine cuttings and stuck them into increasingly weighty books.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I chose my own name, so people could find me easily. My Gallery name, ‘Arts Hut’, I chose to reflect our atmosphere; elegantly rustic, creatively cosy.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

It encourages me to take photographs of everywhere, everything and everyone. I absolutely love my digital camera. Blogging also reveals how I spend my time. When I look at older posts I can see the different projects achieved. My passing obsessions also come into focus: Tractors, Cattle, Poultry - at the moment it’s Dogs.

What are your favourite artist/designer blogs? Why?

My favourite painters blog is Sandra Flood’s ‘A Painting…Whenever’ It is always fascinating, I learn about colour, composition and subject matter.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

I return to blogs that either inspire me or make me smile. I especially like to nose inside artist studios, galleries or shops, so my advice would be - show behind the scenes.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

Everything. It’s free, easy to use, it records all aspects of my life in neat compartments. When people from the other side of the world send me greetings, it is a real surprise and joy.

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?

Managing an inconsistent income is tough, but the rewards are plenty. I feel I’m in the right place, at the right time in my life, enjoying how I spend my days.

Other than your blog, what have been the most effective ways for you to promote your art and design?

To date, I have responded positively to all invitations to exhibit and teach. I have shown work in a farm kitchen, a barn and exhibited in lots of art festivals. Press releases to local newspapers have brought shoppers in. Plus my website lets galleries view my portfolio and I am starting to sell my cards and prints online.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

I gave up my stressful town life to move to the country where the pace of life is tranquil and calming. I try to balance my studio world with spending time outdoors. In the summer I relax in our cottage sculpture garden. I also walk our dogs twice a day, so down tools at 5pm sharp, before they poke their pointy noses under my elbows.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2009?

I have just designed and published my first set of Christmas Cards, so it would be a great finale to 2009, if people like them and they sell well.

Thank you Anna! Your art, studio, and country life are very inspiring :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

pamela tobler : artists who blog

Pam's blog:
Pam's website:
Pam's shop:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I first started my Etsy shop in September 2007. After reading advice on Etsy's blog about getting your stuff out there and seen by people, I opened a Flickr account, and then started my blog soon afterwards in early 2008.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

It is simply the name of my shop, zoetropa, which is a word I sort of made up. Originally I was going to name my shop zoetrope after the spinning wheel toy from the late 19th century that has a small connection with the early beginnings of cinema (which is a subject I am most interested in). I decided to change the "e" on the end to an "a" so it would be a little more unique.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

I'm not sure blogging itself has effected my work necessarily. By starting a blog I began reading other blogs which in turn have really inspired me and have also helped keep me up to date on what's new, what trends are going on, etc.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

Let's see, so so many: I love love love Studio Violet run by Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker. An amazing creative duo over there, they inspire me so much. They have such a unique and sweet style and their photography is brilliant. I would love to work in a studio space like theirs too. Other favorites: Astrid , Ninainvorm, The Small Object's Steno Pad & so many more.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

For me, starting a blog was one of the hardest things. I was completely new to the blog world and thought having a blog was actually sort of weird. So, I would suggest to start reading other blogs now (if you are not already) so you get used to the idea of blogs in general. Putting your own voice out there can be pretty odd and perhaps scary at first, so maybe by posting genuine comments on other blogs is a good way to start getting comfortable with your voice. At least this is what I wish I had done before I started my blog. I've never been one to keep a diary and I'm a very private and shy person, so the idea of having a blog seemed crazy to me and it took me a long long time to get comfortable with it.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

Definitely the most positive thing is feeling connected to other creative types and meeting wonderful people through my blog, mostly virtually but sometimes eventually in person. Also, getting feedback through my blog is great, it has given me greater confidence in myself, my voice and my work.

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?
I have a difficult time deciding on which tasks to tackle next and I tend to get distracted easily. Some days fly by so fast and I never accomplish as much as I'd hoped for which is forever frustrating. Oddly enough, I find that when I have time constraints or imposed structure or deadlines I am better able to manage my time. Up until last February I have been working at a day job, but since then I have been unemployed. This is great of course for my creative self but the drawback is that I don't have a steady income at the moment. However, working for myself is the best thing, it's what I 've always wanted to do and I'm so happy I have an opportunity right now to do so. Being able to spend my days to create and explore new ideas can't be beat.

Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?

Self promotion is not one of my strong points. So far I have to say that twitter has been the most effective, not only for promoting my work and shop but also my blog. I don't just post links to my shop all day long, but when I do want to get the word out there about something new that I've made or added to my shop, twitter is the first place I go. I have signed up for some ad spaces on a few sites and also have participated in online markets like Poppytalk Handmade and Paper 'N' Stitch which have helped a bit. In fact someone found me on Poppytalk Handmade and contacted me asking if I would like to be a vendor at a printing arts fair. That fair ended up being a great experience and my best day of sales yet. Also, occasionally my work featured on other artist blogs or design sites which is a huge plus as well.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

My life is fairly boring really, there is not a lot to maintain. During the weekdays is when I try to get work done and tackle my long list of things to do. My evenings and weekends are spent hanging out with my husband, watching tv or a movie, browsing online, or continuing to work on whatever I'm working on at the moment.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2009?

Hmmm, really I would just like to get to the end of 2009 without any scrapes or mishaps. Right now I'm focused on the holiday season that will be here very soon. One of my goals is to actually get some holiday items in my shop this year which I failed to do in the past two years. Also, I will be a vendor at Boston Bazaar Bizarre this year which is very exciting for me because it will be the biggest craft fair I've attended yet, so I am getting ready for that and hoping all goes well.

Thank you Pam and all the best to you!